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Rose M. Calandrelli Scholarship Fund
By Jean Cohoon / February 2, 2018 /   Loading Disqus...

“She always wanted to teach,” Anthony Calandrelli says of his mother, Rose, who died in 1990 at age 63.

The path to her desired career was not an easy one. Rose was born in Naples, Italy in 1927. “That was a really tough time to be born anywhere in the world,” Anthony states, referring to the poor economic times. World War II broke out when Rose was in her teens, and Anthony notes, “Germany went into Italy as an ally, but it was an occupation of sorts.”

Despite the conditions, Rose and her five siblings each attended college, a feat Anthony believes “was unheard of at that time.” Rose’s advanced education included a doctorate in Latin and ancient Greek from the University of Naples.

Soon after, she married Renato, whom she had known since childhood. He had earlier immigrated to the United States with his family and, once Rose’s paperwork was processed, she joined him in Rhode Island where his family had settled.

Although she had a doctorate and wanted to teach, Rose arrived in Rhode Island knowing no English and possessing no valid Rhode Island teaching certification. She took classes at Central High School to learn English, then coursework for her teaching certificate at Rhode Island College. While in school, Rose also had two children, Anthony and Emily.

After completing her studies, Rose began what would become a 21-year-career at Classical High School where she taught ancient Greek, Italian, and Spanish.

“She had an excellent reputation. She truly loved teaching, and she loved Classical. Whenever a student, past or present, saw her, they would hug her. She loved her students and they loved her,” Anthony recalls, adding, “Even today, I’ll meet someone and they’ll ask, ‘Are you related to Mrs. Calandrelli?’”

Of this fund, which will provide scholarships for Classical High School graduating seniors to pursue higher education, Anthony says simply, “I thought this would be a nice way to honor her.”

Indeed, the fund forever will link the name of Rose Calandrelli with Classical High School and benefit the students she loved.

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